Articles for April 2015

What does it take to succeed in the IT Industry?

There’s one thing that’s true about success: some people achieve it and some don’t. Your choices, actions and attitude ultimately dictate whether you are successful or not.  The definition of success varies from person to person, but generally people want to do well in their lives and in their chosen careers.

If you’ve chosen a career in the IT industry, it’s important to lay down the groundwork for success. Whether you’re a rank and file programmer, an entrepreneur bringing your own product to market, the CEO of your own startup or a consultant working on projects, there are certain qualities that are simply essential for an IT professional in order to succeed.

  • Focus – when Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were asked what the single most important thing was to their success, they said, “Focus.” In your context, this is a two-fold meaning: the ability to concentrate on a task at hand to the exclusion of everything else, and having a clear singular goal that you work towards. The former governs how you go about your day-to-day activities, the latter dictates the choices that you do. In the IT field, it’s especially important to have the former when working: multi-tasking was all the rage in the 90’s and early 2000’s but experts have now come to realize that focusing on the task at hand is the better, more productive way.  Keep focused while writing those lines of code! Losing that focus could mean redoing hours of work. Keep your wits about you and you’ll do well in this field.
  • Adaptability – the IT industry is a busy field that covers a lot of ground. Your role may be “Network Administrator,” but don’t think for a moment that your job is only going to be configuring a domain or an Exchange server. You will be hit on all sides by network issues, hardware problems, and you’ll even be the go-to person for anyone in the company having problems with their computer. You will need to have the skills to adapt to all these situations. You are never going to know what’s on your plate for the day. You’ll need to be prepared with the knowledge and know-how or you’ll be stuck watching others do things.
  • Forward-Thinking – in this business, you can’t simply rest on your laurels. The next big thing is always on the horizon. Your newly-earned Microsoft Professional Certification got you in the door, but how is it helping you compete with all the iOS and Android app developers who are now making millions out of their garages? Seeing trends is the name of the game and riding one before it plays out can make all the difference in the world.   Steve Jobs famously quoted Wayne Gretzky, who said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.”   Instead of looking at what worked for people in the past, the key to success is looking to where the opportunity is going to be. Which leads us to…
  • Always Learning – it’s not just figuring out what’s new on the horizon, it’s becoming an expert on what’s new on the horizon. Maybe you foresaw that the iOS App Store was going to become a big wave in the future; did you get an Apple Developer Kit and learn how to use it? And it doesn’t end there. It never does. The moment new tech is released, it’s already obsolete. Keep that desire to learn and stay on top strong.
  • Patience – IT has the peculiar designation of requiring you to work not only with people, but with machines. A great amount of patience is needed working with people – clients and users who demand things be done and be done now. But what happens when you try to work out a solution and the computer simply stops working and spazzes out? A divine level of patience is needed in these scenarios and it’s something you will be dealing with day-to-day in the IT business.
  • Persistence – Steve Jobs once said that the biggest difference between a successful entrepreneur and a non-successful one was perseverance. Having been thrown out of the company he founded, failing a startup and working back up from ground zero, he finally got back into Apple to launch the iPhone, which arguably was the single most important change in telecommunications industry that defined what the modern smartphone is today. He may just be on to something. In this business, you will often find yourself in situations where the answer is not in sight and repeated failures start piling up. Keep going. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Well-Networked – this isn’t the kind where you are plugging ethernet cables into a router or a switch. The well-to-do IT worker is the well-connected one. Whether you’re an office worker, a consultant, an entrepreneur or the CEO of your company, you are going to need to know people to succeed. Have a problem with that software project you were coding? You need help from a guru. Want to get that new Kickstarter project off the ground? You need the people with the expertise to make it happen. How about that new business merger that would cause your stock to skyrocket? Yes, you need to know the right people. Make sure you are well-connected, get a list of go-to people and know how to leverage their expertise.  Nobody is perfect, but you can always surround yourself with people who can pick up the slack.
  • Passion – lastly, all of this means nothing if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. If you don’t love technology, then the IT field is not for you. Getting into the right field based on what you want to do is the single most-important thing you can do for yourself. Without that passion, all that is awaiting you is a dull, lifeless career without meaning.

Working in the IT Industry is challenging, it’s a very demanding field. However, if you come prepared with the right attitude, success will be waiting just around the corner.

The G602: Why do I keep buying Logitech Mice?!

Time and again, I keep promising myself I’ll never buy another Logitech product.  Every single time, they fail me within a year. I’ve bought the Logitech Wave keyboard, the Logitech DiNovo Mini, the Logitech Solar K750, the G7 (TWICE!), G700, and who knows what else I’ve forgotten over the years.

Each and every one of these wretched pieces of plastic failed me within a year of buying them. Either the wireless goes bonkers, a button starts double-clicking, the battery just fails, or whatever other stupid excuse for lousy quality control. And every single time, Logitech refuses to honor my warranty. I think they discriminate against Filipinos? Who knows.

And yet, I keep buying more of these products. Why is that? They’re elegantly designed and very useful, for starters. Six months ago, I bought the Logitech G602.

2015-03-25 18.08.17

And what a great mouse. It’s wireless, but lasts for months at a time on single AA battery on one charge. It would last even longer if you used a non-rechargeable battery, but I prefer to recycle my energy.

It sports an awesome 2500DPI on an optical sensor — and before your stupid groans of horror at a mouse having less than 6000DPI and not sporting a laser sensor — 2500 DPI is more than enough for anyone not playing on a 4K monitor (and even then I think it’d be good enough). I typically only used 1800DPI on a 1080p display using my Razer Naga Epic: way less than its rated 5600DPI sensitivity. And you know what? It was perfectly fine! Laser or Optical — anyone who says they can tell the difference in performance between laser or optical mice is kidding themselves. Maybe under extreme conditions like a bad wooden table surface there’d be a difference — and ironically it’s the optical sensor with an LED lighting the surface that performs better most of the time.  But most people will be using these mice in “normal” environments — like a mousepad — and there is no difference between the two technologies.

And you know what really makes me love the G602? Those six awesome thumb buttons. Six!!! The biggest problem with the G7 was it had only 1 thumb button. The Razer Naga had 12 — far too many. Six is just right. Six is perfect.

Look at those sweet six thumb buttons!

The G602 also has a very gratifying grip. Unlike the G700 which had a lousy tapering edge on its right that made gripping it with your ring and pinky fingers painful in the long run, the G602 is perfect for palming the mouse and it’s light enough (with just one battery) to really glide across your mouse pad with the deftest of flicks.

And with the improved Logitech Gaming Software that is low on bloat and high on features like Macros and all that crap, this is a mouse lover’s orgasm come true.

And so it was for me… until it broke six months later. The middle wheel button just stopped working all of a sudden while I was playing Skyrim, and after that the x and y tracker just stopped working! Absolutely no tracking whatsoever, although all the other buttons worked just fine. I mean, what the frack?!

Such an epic fail of a mouse. So beautiful, so elegant, so perfect… until it breaks down. And yes, Logitech failed to honor my warranty AGAIN. I’m such a masochist. I should stop buying these Logitech mice, if only they lasted more than a year. I can’t justify buying 3000 to 6000 peso mice over and over in a span of six months.  Damn you Logitech and may you rot in hell.